Bucket List? Become a Musher!

Mushing Nungessers

Okay.  So, technically, I had to look up the word Musher.  And really figure out what it meant.  I mean, we went dog sledding.  That one is obvious.  Musher.  I mean, I am a mommy, I am a “Professional Musher” of mashed potatoes, right?  That sounds like a musher.  You know, like smashing a lot of potatoes so they are mushy and buttery and delicious.

Or I love my children so much my daughter sighs, rolls her eyes, and proclaims, “Oh, Mommy, you are SO MUSHY!”  Making me a Musher Mommy, right?

Well, according to the real dictionaries my Mommy-ition of Mushers is all wrong.  Apparently a Musher is a driver of a dog sled.

So, I am happy to report that as of nearly 1 week ago, I have become officially (for an hour) a real-live Musher.

Also joining the “Musher Nungesser Crew” are:  Richard (the dad), Adelyne (the decade plus two eye roller), Maxwell (the Half-Musher as he helped the Main Musher French Fred), and Me (Brookie—the Mommy Musher).  Josephine was not a Musher.  She was a Musher’s company—meaning that she was plopped into her daddy’s front part of his sled and got to enjoy the VERY bumpy ride.  Good thing Daddy Musher did not tip, eh?!

Anyhow, dog sledding was an absolute and lovely blast that I highly recommend for all!

You first have to arrive where all of the dogs are chained up (just like in Iron Will) and then prepare with the instructions of driving your sled.  Let me tell you, I nearly wanted to be a passenger after the mini-Mushing-class (kid you not timid smile and nervous laugh inserted here).

Our instructor, Elizabeth got out a sled and said, “OKAY!  Here is your brake.  It is VERY important.”

Yes, Elizabeth—you were SO right!  Holy COW!!!!  Know how to use your brake!

Then she said, “ALWAYS hold onto your sled.  IF YOU LET GO, THEY WILL LEAVE YOU AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO RUN AFTER THEM…In the mountains.  In the snow. ”

BRRRRR.  And, NO THANK YOU.  I don’t even run after my own children, much less DOGS!

Finally she said, “BE THE BOSS!”

Yeah, right!

Easy for a lady that WAS the boss of the dogs.

But, in the end.  She was right.  You had to be the boss or those crazy huskies would roll around on the snow and want to go whichever way the butterfly traveled.

Okay—so there weren’t really butterflies considering it was like 19F, but, whatever.  Those dogs were hilarious.

Therefore, not only did you have to be “The Boss” (Sorry, Springsteen) of the dogs, you HAD to…Like a MUST…know the lead dog’s name.  Without that name, the dogs following were like, “La-di-da-da-da!”

With the lead dog’s name and a rowdy, “Let’s go, Chaussettes (Socks),” the others would pop up and follow your Socks (literally, the name of my dog in French was Socks). Which would then give you an opportunity to “Woo-hoo” while holding on tight—at times, bending the knees for the little “pop” over the crazy hill so you could feel like you were a true Musher and sway with the sled (lest you fall off and then are dragged while HANGING on so your dogs don’t run away for like…ever).

And there you have it.  You have officially become a Musher. For an hour.

And the hour goes FAR TOO QUICKLY.  And you wish you had the whole day. And you loved every minute although you and your family laughingly recall the moments you almost went over the railing of the bridge or smashed into the tree or tilted to the extreme sideways as your dogs did not stay on the path but crossed the icy hill ahead of you to take a shortcut.  Those lazy dogs (smile and wink for the feistiness of the husky).

Yes.  All things that pretty much happened in your hour as a professional Musher.  Or your professional Bucket List kicker!

Which is, after all, what you just did!  Filled and kicked that Bucket List right up with an awesome experience that your GoPro actually recorded so you have evidence of every “Woo Hoo” and “WATCH OUT FOR THE BRIDGE” moment.

Life with children can sometimes be mundane.  Messy. Tiring. And well…a million other things.

But life with a Bucket List and littles keeps life #fresh and #exciting and #exhilarating.

And Mushing.  Yes, I recommend putting that one on your list.

As long as you #hangontight!

How to live with the toddler tornado season of your life.


Yesterday started and ended in a tornado.  If we had a storm cellar, I may have hidden down there.  I don’t have twins, but I have toddler-like twin tornadoes that swirl through my home daily—and I just can’t keep up.

In a few short months, I will be 40.  Did you read that correctly?  FORTY!

That’s like the beginning of Phase 2 of life.  And I feel great and look so forward to it.

But there is this thing.  Having a baby at 30 versus 40 is a new ballgame.  It’s like the NBA Stars in their prime versus the Dancing Grannies that move and kick at all rhythms, even though they are suppose to be kicking together.

I am kicking at my own rhythm and the toddlers are not kicking with the nearly 40-year-old me.

And when I feel worn down, I look the tornadoes in their faces and realize that, although I am in the eye of their storm, too quickly this storm will pass—and I will miss the mess!

I feel as if I failed miserably raising my first daughter who is now 9 (my toddler-like-twin tornadoes are respectively 1 & 1/2 and 3).  I feel like I pushed her too hard, disciplined her too much, and expected her to grow too quickly.

Perhaps I feel as if I had to prove to the world that I was a fantastic 1st time mom?  Perhaps I had to feel as if I had the world’s greatest daughter?  Perhaps I just had too many expectations for myself in my mind—even though everyone around me told me to Stop.  Enjoy.  Love.  Care.  Laugh.  Don’t stress.  And Just be.

But I didn’t heed any of their advice.  Before I knew it, my daughter was no longer the tornado toddler, and I miss every naked moment when she was running around in nothing but pink cowboy boots or singing and skating in flour skating rinks on the kitchen floor.

I miss the days when she invited the dogs to sit at the table to eat with us.

And I miss the days when she told me I was greater than Santa and any present he may bring.

Therefore, although I am nearly 10 years past the birth of my oldest — and far more feeling 40 than 30 — technically “nearly” the middle-aged mom of toddlers — I am TRYING … OH TRYING SO HARD — to get it right this time.

If you feel as if your life is a toddler tornado zone—remember me.  And remember how I already miss the toddler tornado moments because I have already seen one child exit the zone and have come out on the other side.  Oh how I wish that I could relive every moment with her in that tornado again.

I would actually throw open that cellar door and run out into the storm with her and say, “OH!  Look!  It’s snowing inside again, is it?!”  And simply vacuum up the baby powder that dusted her doll house and carpet later.

Because, after all, how much longer will she truly believe that it snows inside?

But my other 2, my toddlers, are still there—living every moment of that beautiful snowball of imagination.  Yesterday reminded me how glorious their brilliant imaginations are—and I intend, in my aging and wiser years, to soak it up this time.

And not rush it out.

I hope you throw open the storm cellar and run into the tornado with your toddlers.  May snow grace their bedrooms and monsters be slayed in the halls.

May little Batman briefs and diapers with tutus grace your living rooms…

And may crumbs tumble onto your floors.

Because the toddler storm will end and your house will seem far too clean and quiet—and you will wonder where time went.

Seize the day, my toddler mom friends.  Which means—you will hardly get to eat, sit, shower, or breathe—but seize the day in toddler imaginations, mess, and a good ol’ squeeze them tight and watch them squeal sort of day.

Enjoy your storms.

I do!


Here is my Facebook post from yesterday where I was inspired to enjoy the tornado versus get myself upset over the newfound work before me:

i walk up the stairs during maxwell and josephine’s nap time —this is what i find:

max in the hallway in his batman pajamas, hello kitty pink ballerina shoes, and gold princess gloves—wielding a pop-gun “sword” shouting, “I am fighting the monsters, mom!”

to which i think—is josephine sleeping? 

so i walk into their room — where i find:

josephine trapped in her bed, standing up, , wearing a ballerina skirt and superman baseball hat shouting “UP! UP!”

i don’t stop there—i look around the room === this is what i see:

fish and turtle food everywhere.

every clean sheet that was once (only a mere hour earlier) tucked away waiting for the future use—strewn about the floor covered in fish food and turtle food.

but at least max is keeping our house free of monsters, right?  wink emoticon

hope your day is made up of the most beautiful of memories. i know mine is! 


and the night ended with baby powder all over the floor—because, you know, it snowed 😉 haha!  #whenthemessendsiwillmissit

“What Does The Fox Say?” Daddy be CRAZY!!!!


Okay—so, if you, my And 2 Makes Crazy Readers, don’t realize something, it’s that we live in a beautiful but very little farming village in the country of Poland.

Right now, our house is massively undergoing some awesome construction where we are putting in a gate (woot-woot) and some pavers (because cement on wet land does not bode well) and some other cosmetic outside stuff.

WHICH MEANS…our dogs are by and large locked up for long portions of every day.  And it also means I have to take them on long walks.

We have (the field that immediately borders our property) wheat going.  Then there is the other field.  The beautiful field that is for sale by owner—yet no one seems to buy.  So, my dogs and I go and romp around that field (the dogs romp—i walk).  It has tall grass, wildflowers, trees, and is super duper duper big.

It is bordered by wheat on both sides.  And my dogs are always finding random bones.

WELL…how I have missed this fox hole over this last month is beyond me.  But, just a few nights ago, I saw it!

Mind you, it was about 8pm, so my hubby was at home with all of the kids.  I picked up my phone and called my daughter anyway and said, “QUICK!  Hop on your bike and come find me.  Momma found a FOX HOLE!”

Before I knew it, she was riding out to me.  We loved it.  And had lots of fun exploring around it.  Then we decided to call Daddy and Max.  Josephine was already sleeping, “Daddy!  Put Max’s hat on and come out (it was super cold).”

He wasn’t convinced to take a 3-year-old out exploring at 8pm, but he did anyway.

And that’s when it hit me!  Start the music and have my crazy daughter go wild!  I was just SURE she was going to dance like crazy while I literally had a fox hole filming right behind her.

To my great surprise, I turned on the music and started filming and there my daughter went—EVERYWHERE but in front of the camera.  But daddy stayed (even with Maxwell in his arms).  And, apparently, daddy had WAY more fun than I was about to realize.

He went all “Daddy in front of a fox hole” CRAZY on me 🙂 🙂 🙂

And now we have the best memory of the night!

A video of my hubby (Richard—the FAR better half of And 2 Makes Crazy) going actual crazy to that really fun (and addicting) song, “What does the fox say?”

Click on the link (I have yet to post it to YouTube) and enjoy!  Especially watch it if you are in need for a smile today!

You can even share this video with others.  Go ahead.  Make their day!

xo for now,

B (and now you can see why we are And 2 Makes Crazy)